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What Alternate Nova Ages Would You Like To See?

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Hello there folks! As I'm working to finish the last "crunchy" sections of Aberrant: Nexus, I thought I'd attempt to get some feedback from the Aberrant posters here for the book. I'll be including 3 or 4  descriptions of alternate Nova Ages in Chapter 2, and I would really like to hear some honest & serious suggestions for those from you lot. It beats having to come up with ideas that I'm unsure anyone would find interesting enough to use in a gaming session.

 

So, what would you like to see written up?

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A Mythic Age would be fun - novas as demi-gods and whatnot. 

 

Historical Rome with a solar flare/other celestial event to replace the Galatea would also be interesting. 

 

Kicking off the Age of Exploration with novas might also have really interesting alternative history storylines to play out. 

 

The court of Louis the Sun King with novas would also be fun. 

 

 

....I like history. :D

 

 

Also, a post-apoc setting where novas are either from whatever caused the apocalypse (ala radiation or whatnot) or the emergence of novas immediately lead to the apocalypse (like, within days/weeks/a few months) could be a fun dystopic game to play. 

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Maybe a space opera setting where novas have mutated into immensely powerful, utterly insane Cthonic horrors, and human beings survive precariously using non-nova psionic powers and high technology and...uh...

 

...you're all looking at me kinda funny.

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A Mythic Age would be fun - novas as demi-gods and whatnot.

Speaking as one of the group that does 'Ancient Aberrant', I entirely approve of this decision.  :)

 

My own suggestions...

 

Modern-Day Without Aeon: Like M&M's "Paragons" setting, there's people who want to roleplay in a world with familiar things like an Internet, and Amazon, and national cultures they're familiar with, but don't want all the baggage of the metaplot, or Utopia, or the established major players.  Some 'multiple choice, here's some options' advice for dealing with that kind of thing would be helpful, as well as an exploration of common tropes and consequences, but really, its the world outside our doorsteps. 

 

Just please, please, avoid the cliche of 'and suddenly the governments go all right-wing paranoid stereotype and wants to control or kill all the novas'. We came to Aberrant to get away from that kind of thing.

 

Nova Gear Solid: As above, only with government or PMC-controlled weirdness.  In either the height of an alternate Cold War or the even more multifaceted tensions of 21st century flashpoints, novas are a secret phenomenon.  The mainstream media never mentions them, the alternate media is either discredited or ignored.  Like a 'World of Darkness' vibe, people with powers keep it to dark nights and remote alleyways, never letting the crowds see what they can do... but sinister cabals and factions all around the world come recruiting sooner or later, drawing novas into their shadow wars.  So yeah, a very MGS-type vibe, using lower-powered Directive type novas.

 

Aberrant Beyond: Take the 'Batman Beyond' motif and apply it to Aberrant.  In a corrupt near-future world where the common people live in cyber-grunge while the corporations and politicians dominate everything and squabble with each other neo-feudal style, suddenly N-Day occurs.  Now the great upsetter-of-applecarts has landed.  Eruption happens to both the privileged and unprivileged alike.  Will you fight for the people of the streets?  Are you just in the game to get yours and then get gone?  Will you sell out to the corporate powers-that-be in return for the opportunity for you and your family to join them, and to hell with the people you stepped on to get there?  You decide!

 

Knights of the M-R Node: A specific scenario for the ancient myth type thing.  In the 6th century of Britain, suddenly shit got real.  Now you've got a Mega-Charismatic king trying to unite all the various petty kingdoms against the Saxon invaders and calling all gods-blessed champions to unite under his banner and become as knights.  The enigmatic old sphinx Merlin advises him, as his precognitive visions lead him towards some end goal only he can see.  PCs get to be Knights of the Round and displace all the 'canon' characters that they want to.  Villains are of course all the eruptees who decided to go into business for themselves, or join up with Mordred. Etc.

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Maybe a space opera setting where novas have mutated into immensely powerful, utterly insane Cthonic horrors, and human beings survive precariously using non-nova psionic powers and high technology and...uh...

 

...you're all looking at me kinda funny.

 

this!

 

oh....wait....yeah

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Interesting stuff, though the post-apoc & near-future ideas were the ones that really got my attention. If I did an "ancient Aberrant" world, it would probably end up being China-centric just due to the required human population numbers for a worthwhile N-Day.

 

That said, what about having an N-Day happen in a female-dominated world such as portrayed in Wen Spencer's A Brother's Price? Or one with a recent male gendercide like Y: The Last Man? Just an idea I thought I'd toss out for consideration.

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I'd been thinking of something.

 

A flooded earth where sea levels were caused to rise some 800 feet from where they are now through an external force of some kind (I'm thinking caused by loads of comet fragments ending up in earth orbit, depositing a constant stream of water to deposit. After the earth was flooded, whatever caused the multiple comets to  be pulverized and depositied on earth also increased the ambient quantum levels, but not as much as a full NDay event, causing people to erupt, but only to have access to body modifications and mega attributes/enhancements.

The story would be about people living on a new earth with little land-mass.

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A quick note of clarification here: what I'll be writing up aren't going to be full-fledged Aberrant "what if?/elseworlds" - to fuse a couple of borrowed comics memes - for player characters to "live" in. These are going to be a few examples alternate universes for (most likely) powerful novas from a more-or-less standard Aberrant chonicle using Aberrant: Nexus content to discover & explore.

 

To wit, here's one ide for such that I'm cooking up: what used to be a standard Aberrant setting that gets derailed in the mid-2002 by overt hostile alien contact. The starfaring aliens involved have been left blank for ST convenience - I personally would suggest the Coalition for ST convenience if that matters - but they sent a small warship with 10-20 fighter craft to act as a scouting force against Earth. The alien force was defeated by Utopian novas, but at great cost. Several members of T2M died defeating the aliens, including Caestus Pax & Alison "Psyche" Pfaltzgraff. What's worse, T2M member Slider managed to steal one of the alien warship's computer cores. Upon decryption, it was revealed to the UN that the warship had managed to send an FTL signal back home detailing the Earth and the resistance that had been offered.

 

Faced with such an obvious threat, the Aeon Council rapidly changed their policies in regard to the nova population, with Mercer's guidance. Proteus is purged, Thetis & Ozaki are assassinated since reducing nova population growth is now obviously suicidal for humanity as a whole. The use of adrenocilin & moxinoquantamine are phased out as better, non-addictive technological methods to attain the same benefits are developed. Likewise, Antaeus is given carte blanche to develop a cure for the sterilization agent with the full support of Aeon & all of its subsidiaries. A cure is found and administered en masse within weeks. Cures for Taint accumulation are still being sought, but without much success as of yet.

 

The Teragen's formation is stymied/delayed somewhat, as previous abuses of nova rights are no longer tolerated in the First World nations. With UN-supported relocation of Third World novas & their loved ones to welcoming First World nations, that's a much smaller pool of nova resentment for Mal & Co. to draw on. Mal himself is still trying to figure out how to salvage his dream of nova domination in the face of alien invasion, and is not having much luck of late.

 

The Directive dies stillborn, as responsibility for nova oversight becomes an official duty of the UN's World Health Organization, which is also now politically powerful.

 

Globally, all the major powers have given their full support to the UN, which has actual geopolitical power now due to the impending alien threat. For the sake of human survival, rogue nations such as Niger & several Islamic states have been overthrown & brought into line. National militaries are being interlinked, retrained & revamped in order to provide as much of a deterrence to alien invasion as possible. Technology is advancing very rapidly - unfettered nova R&D plus reverse-engineering the aliens' technology - without Utopian TechReg interference as the UN develops a fledgling space force with nova aid.

 

In the business world, corporate/banker excesses are no longer tolerated, with many such institutions being nationalized & executives arrested for economic treason. The nationalized monies - extracted by force from the former nation of Switzerland - help funds UN Space Force development. Likewise, organized crime above the city level is wiped out by combined Utopian/UN intelligence forces without mercy. All members of the major criminal organizations seen in the core book were executed as traitors to humanity.

 

Likewise, the rich have been brought to heel. Widespread governmental reform has eliminated the developing oligarchic'fascist trends seen in other Earths at the current date, and wealthy recalictrants have been given a choice: contribute richly to the war effort or have all their assets confiscated & nationalized. There are many new "riches to rags" stories nowadays.

 

Thus, no Slider Incident, no Aberrant movement for Sophia Rousseau to help found/exploit, no brushfire wars for Elites to kill each other in, no motherhunting as we've known it. Instead we have global mass militarization, huge technological leaps on a global and evenly-distributed scale, and much less worry about overpopulation. In fact, most novas are being subtly urged to be checked for fertility - & given cures if sterile - and start having families and/or children. Only truly unsuitable parents/gene donors are exempt from this propaganda blitz, which has led to resentment on the part of female novas. Surprise surprise, they don't like being pressured into motherhood, even if it's being done politely & with massive moetary compensation.

 

And over all this frenzied preparation looms the impending alien threat.

 

So, that's the sort of idea I had in mind for this. My further thoughts:

 

Ancient/Historical Nova Age: A major factor would be the effect of novas on a world which hasn't developed any concrete ideas of human equality. How can such an idea even be considered credible when there appears to be living, powerful proof to the contrary?

 

Post-Apoc Nova Age: I'd do this with an incomplete male gendercide, with a resulting 10:1 female/male ratio among the survivors. The exceptions would be those few who would've otherwise died in the gendercide (directly or indirectly, males & females both) erupting as novas. I'd also make those novas be low-Taint, as they'll be facing enough problems with human civilization's attempts to restore itself. More social conflicts that outright combat, I'm thinking.

 

What do you folks think of all that? Do these ideas have legs, or are they junk?

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The 'eat the rich' nationalization is a short-term self-defeating method for getting a healthy wartime economy.   Case in point: World War II.   We didn't do it and we went the distance, holding the all-time world record for sustained industrial output.  The Axis did do it and were economically run into the ground.

 

Short version: governments can demand whatever the hell they want.  If there's nothing in it for the people actually doing the work, they won't do their best job -- and 'managing a financial empire' is skilled labor, of a sort.   I mean, at least the factory workers are getting paid.   The owners are not only not getting paid, they're suffering a 98% income cut. At this point... welp, you can't make a dude compose a symphony at gunpoint, neither can you make him energetically and competently manage an industrial empire by drafting him.  Shit, there's a reason they don't even draft people to make them grunt infantry anymore, and its not because they were overwhelmed with humanitarian impulses.  Once a given position requires a certain degree of skill and commitment, its impractical to force people to do it; they have to want to.  And for people whose main skill is 'making lots of money'... well, if it ain't gonna make them lots of money in the process, they won't want to do it.

 

Besides, the Chtulhutech setting shows that allowing megacorps to co-exist with total mobilization vs. an incoming alien doom only increases roleplaying opportunities, not decreases them.

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The 'eat the rich' nationalization is a short-term self-defeating method for getting a healthy wartime economy.   Case in point: World War II.   We didn't do it and we went the distance, holding the all-time world record for sustained industrial output.  The Axis did do it and were economically run into the ground.

 

Short version: governments can demand whatever the hell they want.  If there's nothing in it for the people actually doing the work, they won't do their best job -- and 'managing a financial empire' is skilled labor, of a sort.   I mean, at least the factory workers are getting paid.   The owners are not only not getting paid, they're suffering a 98% income cut. At this point... welp, you can't make a dude compose a symphony at gunpoint, neither can you make him energetically and competently manage an industrial empire.

 

Besides, the Chtulhutech setting shows that allowing megacorps to co-exist with total mobilization vs. an incoming alien doom only increases roleplaying opportunities, not decreases them.

 

Exactly! :D Glad you caught that so quickly, it means that I'm creating a sufficiently flawed alternate Nova Age instead of something unbelievably perfect. I should probably stick in a few more problems just to keep it more flawed/human. That Elseworld is still on the drawing table, y'know.

 

Governments can and do make bad mistakes, especially when facing existential danger. And governments are also subject to George Santayana's line that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". And given the corporate excesses we've seen, it's easy to understand how those governments went too far in trying to rein them in.

 

I'm not creating fully viable settings here, folks. I'm making a few alternate Nova Ages for novas to visit, examine and/or avoid like the plague once they're discovered. There need not be any happy endings here, and there's no metaplot to adhere to. Things can go as well or as badly as the writer and/or Storyteller desires.

 

My main problem in hammering these out is avoiding the cliched alternate universes, such as any of the "Nazi Germany wins World War 2" scenarios. They've been so overdone it'd be a joke to use it here.

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This kind of Global militarization seems like it would lead to either a Mass-effect kind of scenario in Trinity (when we run into the Qin), or a hellish R-Type level backfire when mankind pushes weapons development to unbridled and insane extremes resulting in something horrible like the Bydo.

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This kind of Global militarization seems like it would lead to either a Mass-effect kind of scenario in Trinity (when we run into the Qin), or a hellish R-Type level backfire when mankind pushes weapons development to unbridled and insane extremes resulting in something horrible like the Bydo.

 

:huh: Could you please expand on those remarks a bit?

 

AFA the Mass Effect videogame, I'm assuming that you're thinking of that Aeon/Aberrant/AU Humanity reacting to the Qin as ME Humanity did initially to the Turians, yes? I'm not seeing any reason for a future conflict with the Qin, as they were discovered through Terran (Upeo/ISRA/Ministry) space exploration efforts long past the time of the Nova Age. IIRC, the Qin were minding their own business & hadn't even expanded beyond their home star system at that time, hence the Qin's bioforming of two of Qinshui's planetary neighbors.

 

AFA the "hellish R-Type backfire" & the Bydo, please explain? I've never heard of the latter & the only "R-type" I know of is the kind of reproductive scheme used by sea life & insects.

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Also, in Mass Effect, the turians attacked us.  The Alliance, prior to making first contact with any other galactic species, had peacefully expanded through a mass relay (a sort of stargate for starships, for those who haven't played the game) that they did not know the Galactic Council had designated as a no-fly zone.  The turians chose to enforce the Council edict by firing on the strange ships without warning. One human ship escaped to bring the word, and from that point on shit got real. 

 

But yeah, its hardly 'humanity's first step into the stars was all paranoid xenophobia' type thing.  Humanity went peacefully into the stars, had our first contact with aliens involve being obliterated without warning for a technical offense against galactic law we didn't even know we were committing (and which is not supposed to be a death penalty offense in the first place), and quite understandably went 'shit, we're being attacked, let's fucking shoot these guys'.

 

Or, as Secretary Kissinger put it, even paranoids have enemies.  :)

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R-Type is a "SHMUP" (shoot-em-up) arcade game that is designed around the ancient format of memorization through merciless attrition.  The (vague) storyline behind it places mankind at war with a viciously sentient, bio-technical, self-evolving, quasi-wavicle life form created to devastate mankind's enemies called the Bydo Empire.  And devastate they did, only to turn right around and attempt to destroy mankind.  R-type is well known for it's disturbing organic imagery that puts me in the mind of a level 10+ taint aberrant. 

 

Type R-type "Delta" or "Final" into you tube and behold the weirdness.

Type it into google and TRY to wrap your mind around the "plot"

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Also, in Mass Effect, the turians attacked us.  The Alliance, prior to making first contact with any other galactic species, had peacefully expanded through a mass relay (a sort of stargate for starships, for those who haven't played the game) that they did not know the Galactic Council had designated as a no-fly zone.  The turians chose to enforce the Council edict by firing on the strange ships without warning. One human ship escaped to bring the word, and from that point on shit got real. 

 

But yeah, its hardly 'humanity's first step into the stars was all paranoid xenophobia' type thing.  Humanity went peacefully into the stars, had our first contact with aliens involve being obliterated without warning for a technical offense against galactic law we didn't even know we were committing (and which is not supposed to be a death penalty offense in the first place), and quite understandably went 'shit, we're being attacked, let's fucking shoot these guys'.

 

Or, as Secretary Kissinger put it, even paranoids have enemies.  :)

Re: Turians-

Yeah, that's pretty much what I recall from the occasional ME fanfics I've read, since I've never played the game.

 

Re: Terran paranoia-

Don't think that Humanity in this alternate Nova Age is going to be nearly that xenophobic, save towards the attacking xenosapient species/civilization in question. There will be an undercurrent of that in any interactions with other aliens, but that's only to be expected.

 

R-Type is a "SHMUP" (shoot-em-up) arcade game that is designed around the ancient format of memorization through merciless attrition.  The (vague) storyline behind it places mankind at war with a viciously sentient, bio-technical, self-evolving, quasi-wavicle life form created to devastate mankind's enemies called the Bydo Empire.  And devastate they did, only to turn right around and attempt to destroy mankind.  R-type is well known for it's disturbing organic imagery that puts me in the mind of a level 10+ taint aberrant. 

 

Type R-type "Delta" or "Final" into you tube and behold the weirdness.

Type it into google and TRY to wrap your mind around the "plot"

Ah, all is made clear... Definitely will be looking at those youtube vids tonight. That said, I'm not sure if I can see that happening more than just a few times if the attacking aliens happen to be the Coalition (the deafult enemy in this case). Sure, there will be some Taintmonkeys resulting from the war, but I can see them more likely becoming human-derived versions of the alien Zeiram creature from the anime Iria: Zeiram The Animation.

 

To explain: Zeiram's only goal is to exterminate all "alien" (from it's POV) lifeforms it encounters, and it has the means to do so, if only indirectly. (It's also a great old anime that's well worth checking out, even if the "heroic" characters are a bit flat in their characterization.) I can easily see some Taint-prone human derived novas ending up like that in the conflict I've described, only to be exiled to another galaxy once humanity prevails.

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Progress report-

OK folks, I've now got 3 concepts on the drawing board to be hammered out. Feel free to comment on them & make suggestions, the second & third concepts are still very rough.

 

Listing #1 is the space warfare setting I described earlier, and will be labeled Heliopause Rubicon. It exists in the Universe 2 (Aberrant) universe/timeline grouping.

 

Listing #2 is an "Ancient Aberrant" setting (it got 2 votes, so why not?) which will be based on the myths/speculations about the Lemurian continent. It's pretty much a "doomed Atlantis/Eden/whatever", and will be labeled Paradise Meridian. As it's literally prehistoric - circa 11,000-10,000 B.C.E. - it has to go in the Universe 3 (Adventure!) universe/timeline grouping and is considered temporally unchangeable via time travel.

 

Listing #3 is a post-apocalypse setting, with the N-Day event also causing an incomplete gendercide of the male baseline population. I haven't settled on what the exact resulting average female/male ratio will be, but the effect was uneven on a global scale. China, Russia and the Middle East were hardest hit (50 to 1 female/male ratios), while the South American continent got off lightly (5 to 1 female/male ratios).

 

Aeon exists in Listing #3, but is much different as it's an advanced specimen of the Universe 3 (Adventure!) universe/timeline grouping. It deviated from the main plotline when Doctor Primoris died in 1925 saving the Aeon Society & Earth from Cthulhoid horrors. Mercer goes into suspended animation from grief & boredom in 1950 after the death of his wife Annabelle Lee "Crackshot" Mercer. Mercer reawakens in 1995 to rejoin Styles & his granddaughter Margaret Mercer to have Aeon prepare for a great calamity. He thinks it's just going to be a typical N-Day. Mercer is so, so wrong...

 

One problem: For the life of me, I can't come up with a snappy two word label for Listing #3 like I did for the other two. Would you folks have any suggestions for that label?

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You have to ask? 

"Strange Aeons", of course!  :)

:lol: That would do for this sub-subsection of Chapter 2 as a whole, yes. (And I'll be stealing that, if you don't mind!) Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to the setting in Listing #3. One out of two isn't bad...

 

Hmm, 'Chromosonal Failure'? 'Broken Divide'? 'Uneven Balance'? 'Lingering' or 'Continuing Fallout'?

I thought about labels like that earlier, but they just didn't have the right... snap, I guess you could call it. I've been looking at the various Amazon myths for homeland names, one of which would be juxtaposed with a word describing the post-apocalyptic aspect of the setting. Haven't found one yet aside from Scythia, the culture of which AFAICT was more gender egalitarian than female dominant. I'm still unsure which theme to go with to indicate that the setting's female population is - by circumstance - now in de facto charge of the planet.

 

Currently I'm thinking their society would be mostly egalitarian by necessity, with true female social dominance restricted to the regions hardest hit by the gendercide event. (It also makes for an entertaining reversal of the patriarchal cultures they used to have.) Said regions would also be the most likely troublemakers in the setting due to their extreme need to acquire males from neighboring nations.

 

Additional Note: By writer fiat, the N-Day incomplete gendercide of the setting in Listing #3 had no effect on male Inspired. So Mercer, Styles & Jake Danger would survive it.

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:lol: That would do for this sub-subsection of Chapter 2 as a whole, yes. (And I'll be stealing that, if you don't mind!) Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to the setting in Listing #3. One out of two isn't bad...

 

Actually, it entirely applies.  It's from the original Mythos.  Hell, its from the same story that intros Cthulhu. And you mentioned the Mythos as part of this, did you not?

 

"That is not dead which can eternal lie / And with strange aeons even death may die." -- 'The Call of Cthulhu', by H.P. Lovecraft

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Actually, it entirely applies.  It's from the original Mythos.  Hell, its from the same story that intros Cthulhu. And you mentioned the Mythos as part of this, did you not?

 

"That is not dead which can eternal lie / And with strange aeons even death may die." -- 'The Call of Cthulhu', by H.P. Lovecraft

 

Only if you read "Cthulhoid" as implicitly meaning the Cthulhu Mythos. I merely used it to get across exactly what type of threat that Dr. Primoris died fighting. After all, "humanoid" does not equal "human", capisce?

 

FYI, if I have to get nitpicky, I can just call them "highly-Tainted alien novas/aberrants". There's a reason why most RPG books don't mention other companies' trademarked concepts/characters.

 

And yeah, I've known the quote for quite a while now, thanks much.

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Re: Listing #3-

For lack of anything better, I'm going with "Scythian Dawn" as the label for the 3rd alternate universe listed.

 

Re: The listings in general-

The floor is still open for commentary & pointing out potential problems for Storytellers to take advantage of. The following is a brief recap of said problems AFAICT by listing label.

 

Heliopause Rubicon (space warfare/invasion): Global militarization and social pressure to join the military, excessive measures against the irresponsible rich/corporations causing possible eventual economic collapse, social pressure on novas - esp. the women - to start having as many nova children as possible, latent threat of the Teragen & Divis Mal, no cure for Taint accumulation found yet, looming theat of impending alien invasion.

 

Paradise Meridian (ancient Aberrant): Novas as absolute ruling class over socially primitive baselines, no awareness of the dangers of Taint accumulation, hostility of foreign nations/tribes due to novas' demands for tribute - including slaves, geological instability of the Lemurian continent (it's going to sink, after all...), access to advanced science/technology without the wisdom to avoid its misuse.

 

Scythian Dawn (post-apocalyptic/incomplete male gendercide/N-Day): Restoring functional societies after losing much of the male population, dealing with any subsequent problems (uncontrolled nuclear reactors, massive forest fires, transportation/commerce breakdown, etc.), massive social change as women take traditionally male occupations while female occupations dependent on male support/interest vanish, radical changes in gender politics/roles, dealing with novas (both female & male, luckily Taint-free) on top of the preceding issues.

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Re: The finished product-

Thought I'd give you fine folks a look at the first listing as an example of what this thread has resulted in. Many thanks, I couldn't've hammered it out so well without your feedback.

 

Alternate Universe #1: Heliopause Rubicon
Point of Deviation: Mid-2002 C.E.
Location: Universe/Timeline Grouping #2 (Variant Aberrant setting).
Current Date: Circa 2015.
Synopsis: An otherwise normal Nova Age has been thrown off-course by the beginnings of an alien invasion of the Solar System. With the intial alien scouting force defeated by Team Tomorrow, the United Nations prepares a globalized Humanity for interstellar war with the oncoming alien threat.

This alternate universe is identical to the standard Aberrant setting up until June 8th, 2002. The divergence event is the arrival of a spacefaring alien scouting force at the Solar System, which sends off the alarms of deep space astronomers and nova precognitives worldwide. A strikeforce comprising most of Utopia's most powerful novas - including several Team Tomorrow novas - was in place in high Neptune orbit to intercept the alien warship and its small contingent of fighter craft. The fightting was fierce, but the Utopian novas won a hard-fought and costly battle over the aliens. Notable among the Utopian casualties were Caestus Pax, Alison "Psyche" Pfaltzgraff and Ewan "the Apollo Kid" Banks. Unfortunately, the victory was achieved a few moments too late for it to be total. Later dercryption and analysis of a captured alien computer core revealed that the warship's captain had managed to send an FTL signal back to its superiors detailing the Solar System and the resistance that had been offered them. Even worse, a responding signal had been sent back indicating that the aliens' main battle fleet would arrive to invade the Solar System as soon as logistics allowed.

Storyteller Note: The invading alien threat in question here has purposefully been described in generic terms, so that the Storyteller can create her own custom-designed alien civilization for this purpose for her own Aberrant: Nexus chronicle. If a Storyteller wishes to use one of the alien species from the Trinity setting instead, the Coalition would serve that function admirably.

Faced with such an obvious and overwhelming threat, the Aeon Council rapidly changed their policies in regard to the nova population, with Max Mercer's guidance. Both Directors Thetis and Ozaki were quietly assassinated, followed by a general purge of Project Proteus, since Thetis' goal of reducing nova population growth was now an obviously suicidal course for humanity as a whole. The use of adrenocilin and moxinoquantamine in training novas was phased out as better, non-addictive technological methods to attain the same benefits were developed. Antaeus was given carte blanche to develop a cure for Proteus' sterilization agent with the full support of the Aeon Society and all of its subsidiaries. Said cure was found and administered en masse within weeks, restoring the fertility of the majority of novas who wanted it. A cure for the effects of Taint accumulation began and is still being sought, but without much success. Until a cure is found, Utopia seeks to train novas to avoid any and all behaviors which could lead to gaining Taint as a stopgap measure.

Globally, all of the major powers have united under and given their full support to the United Nations, which now has actual and permanent geopolitical power due to the impending alien threat. For the sake of human unity and survival, rogue nations such as Niger and several Islamic states have been overthrown and brought into line. Only a few nations are not members of the UN, namely the African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone and the nations which comprised the former Warsaw Pact nation of Yugoslavia. The neighbors of the two African nations have been given a green light from the UN to invade them at first opportunity so that stable democratic goverments can be installed. UN political and military analysts are still unsure what to do about the former Yugoslavia, but suspect that a mass off-planet deportation of the Serbian population may be the only viable option.

All national militaries are being interlinked, retrained and revamped in order to provide as much of a deterrence to alien invasion as possible. With much help from Aeon and Project Utopia, the UN has formed a new standing military organization - the UN Space Force - in order to combat the alien threat. The UNSF has established bases throughout the Inner Solar System and the Asteroid Belt, and UNSF spacecraft now patrol as far out as Jupiter. Sadly, the UNSF space fleet is not yet large enough to support a sustained military presence in the Outer Solar System, although new UNSF spacecraft are coming out of the many orbital shipyards on an almost daily basis.

The technology of this variant Nova Age has advanced very rapidly, which is only partially due to nova and baseline scientists reverse-engineering the aliens' technology. All of Utopia's previous efforts to regulate ethical technological development have been abandoned in order to support the war effort. Utopia's Technology Regulation department now limits itself to policing truly unethical technological and scientific research, and now does so with full UN support. As a result, the Technology Rating (see pp. XX-XX) of this Earth has reached T11 in all the fields directly relevant to space warfare; including materials science, weapons and defense technologies, communications and propulsion. In other areas such as medicine and agriculture, this Earth is solidly at the T10 ranking. Both Luna and Mars now have large international settlements, while the Belt is dotted throughout with Chinese mining operations and literal swarms of (mostly Chinese) asteroid prospectors.

As could ony be expected, this Earth's global business community has also been radically changed due to globalization and militarization. The excesses and abuses that corporations - including the banks - used to commit as part of doing business are no longer tolerated. The executives of most such institutions were savvy enough to go with the flow on this, adopting honestly ethical business and environmental practices out of sheer pragmatism. Those who refused to change with the times saw their corporate and personal assets frozen before being arrested and convicted for economic treason against Humanity. The non-monetary assets were sold to the former corporations' competitors, with the proceeds and seized monies were redirected to help fund the newborn UNSF. This also put an end to much of the Bank of Switzerland's illicit banking thanks to intense political and economic pressure by the other UN member nations. Likewise, the irresponsible rich have also been brought to heel. Widespread global governmental, legal and economic reform has eliminated the developing oligarchic/fascist trends seen in other Earths at their current date. The less savvy among the hyper-wealthy - a minority, despite stereotypes to the contrary - found themselves caught up in a globalized legal system where their money and influence could no longer be used to shield them from the consequences of their many crimes. The resulting "riches to rags" stories made for excellent tabloid fodder.

Organized crime has become extinct due to the efforts of combined Utopian/UN intelligence forces, who exterminated all such operations without mercy. The head of the American Central Intelligence Agency protested this at the time, as illegal drug sales funded much of the CIA's black budget. Said CIA official vanished without a trace two days later, and no trace of his body was ever found. All members of the major criminal organizations seen in the core book were executed as traitors to Humanity. The Yakuza of Japan were especially difficult to root out, as were the Chinese Triads and Tongs. There were many unexplained disappearances at the time, sometimes involving entire families. As a byproduct of this global effort, the economies of several Third World nations were weakened, which in turn aided the UN in asserting control over them. The resulting economic shift to supporting the development of the UNSF has all but eliminated poverty in those nations, reducing one of the main reasons to engage in criminal activities in the first place.

Of the nova factions known in the "standard" Aberrant setting, few of them remain and many are changed in this alternate Earth. Project Utopia is much more humanitarian - and humane - than authoritarian, as Aeon's attempts to find a solution to the "Nova Problem" have been jettisoned. Project Proteus as the late Director Thetis made it no longer exists, although a similar organization has been formed by and remains under the direct command and control of Whitley Styles and Max Mercer. As there was never a Slider Scandal in this Earth, there was never an Aberrant faction for Sophia Rousseau to help form and direct. DeVries and most other elite agencies either shifted to non-combat/espionage operations or went out of business as the demand for nova mercenaries died out due to the UN's global unification. The Directive died stillborn as responsibility for nova oversight was transferred to the UN World Health Organization by its member nations. The WHO also ensures that the rights of novas working for corporations and/or governments are not abused.

The Teragen is still stuck in their "coffee house roundtable" larval stage, as Utopia's radical shift of attitude towards novakind has deprived them of many sources of nova discontent their analogs took advantage of in other Nova Ages. Much of this is due to the fact that pre-Invasion abuses of nova rights are no longer tolerated in the First World nations. In the Third World, all novas and their loved ones have free access to the UN's Nova Relocation and Resettlement Program to welcoming First World nations. Divis Mal has yet to reveal himself to the few members of the Teragen as Jeremiah Scripture continues to speak for him at the roundtable discissions. The erstwhile Father of Teras is still trying to figure out how to salvage his dream of nova domination in the face of the impending alien invasion, and has not been making much progress.

That's not to say that all is well for novas in this alternate Earth. Novas with the right quantum capabilities face heavy social pressure to join the global military, regardless of whether they'd make good soldiers or not. The fact that no one has yet found a cure for Taint accumulation will make this a time bomb waiting to blow once the aliens try to invade again. Novas are also constantly urged to start large families as soon as possible, thanks to the hypothetical increased power of second generation novas. Aeon has even set up a nova sperm bank for the use of fertile female novas who want to - or are obligated to - bear nova children. Only novas who are truly unfit for parenthood - due to Taint and/or psychological problems - are exempt from this propaganda blitz. The Japanese custom of arranged marriage candidate interviews - omiai - has been adopted by Utopia and the UN as another means to increase the nova birthrate without being blatantly coercive about it. All of this has led to quite a bit of resentment on the part of female novas. Unsurprisingly, they do not like being pressured into becoming mothers or brood mares, especially to see any children they bear possibly conscripted for the war effort. The politeness of the Aeon/Utopian/UN officials involved doesn't ameliorate matters much, nor does the massive monetary compensation offered. And the Teragen lurks in the background, like a cancerous seed waiting for the right conditions for it to sprout...

There are also some problems with the baseline global society as well. Global militarization is all well and good in the face of an alien invasion, and with the aid of powerful novas they have a good shot at winning against the invasion force. What no one has yet asked is this: what happens after the war is won? Will the UN be content with defending the Solar System against all comers, or will they seek to track down the invading aliens' home star system or main base of operations and conquer it in the name of Humanity? Will the confict end there, or will Humanity seek to explore the Milky Way Galaxy as would-be conquerors?

The economic situation is also a problem - while the grossest abuses of the international corporate community have been curtailed, some elements of the UN have a vendetta against Big Business. They are convinced that businessses can never be trusted to not commit atrocities in the name of profit, and seek to establish tighter controls over what corporations and wealthy individuals can accomplish. While plausible in the short term, over the long term such measures will stifle healthy economic growth and create the conditions for a global economic collapse.

Of course, all of the preceding assumes that Humanity survives the impending alien invasion of the Solar System. And that is by no means guaranteed...
 

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Hrm. If the ancient setting is just 'behold, Bronze Age barbarism with novas', then isn't that kinda... well, dull?   The entire point of the Atlantis myth is that it's Plato's fantasy idealized society.  Which means that while you're obviously millenia too early for post-Enlightenment ideals such as we know, you should at least mix in elements of 'what Ancient Greece claimed to be re: enlightened philosopher-kings, only its not all bullshit'. 

 

Its not an Atlantis-type myth unless you're weeping over the island sinking, after all -- as opposed to going "Thank God they're finally gone." 

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Hrm. If the ancient setting is just 'behold, Bronze Age barbarism with novas', then isn't that kinda... well, dull?   The entire point of the Atlantis myth is that it's Plato's fantasy idealized society.  Which means that while you're obviously millenia too early for post-Enlightenment ideals such as we know, you should at least mix in elements of 'what Ancient Greece claimed to be re: enlightened philosopher-kings, only its not all bullshit'. 

 

Its not an Atlantis-type myth unless you're weeping over the island sinking, after all -- as opposed to going "Thank God they're finally gone." 

 

Rest assured, I've taken Plato's fantasy into account. All the native novas will be philosophers of one type or another, as they can't all be kings. Whether they're really enlightened or just faking it to appease the commoners will depend on the individual nova in question...

 

And there will be weeping, mostly on the part of the few surviving members of said novas' baseline subjects as they have to try & restart the process of civilization all over again among the savages. A few of the native novas might escape both the effects of decadence, Taint & their continent's sinking into the Pacific Ocean, becoming tragic figures of prehistoric myth. That said, some folks will be going "thank (insert tribal deities here) those jerks are finally gone" - they'll be those savage & likely cannibalistic baseline tribes that the nova civilization suppressed.

 

This ancient nova-dominated society hasn't completely slipped into decadence yet, hence the label "Paradise Meridian". (Meridian meaning "the point or period of highest development, greatest prosperity, etc.".) It's all downhill from there, though - and the ride down will be very fast & very bumpy. There will be enough reasons for hope among the native novas & the baseline citizenry, as they don't know that they are inevitably doomed. Few among them will have the foresight to found new colonies off-continent, I'm thinking.

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Re: Second finished product-

Here's my take on the "Scythian Dawn" alternate Earth. Feel free to comment if you feel there's anything lacking here.

 

Alternate Universe #2: Scythian Dawn
Point of Deviation: 1925 C.E.
Location: Universe/Timeline Grouping #2 (Variant Aberrant setting).
Current Date: Circa 2008.
Synopsis: A celestial event triggers a Taint-free N-Day along with an incomplete male gendercide. This results in a post-apocalypse drama with emphasis on gender politics, social change and survival.

This alternate universe deviated from the standard Aeon Continuum back in 1925 with the death of Michael Daemon Donighal. In the process of saving the Aeon Society and his Earth from a crosstime invasion by creatures that could only be called "Lovecraftian horrors" at the time, Dr. Primoris was forced to sacrifice himself to destroy the invaders' portal mechanism. (Later analysis proved the creatures to be highly-Tainted alien aberrants.) Without Donighal there to oppose his goals, Mercer was able to keep the Aeon Society true to the course he had originally plotted for them, mainly by listening to his closest allies' warnings about choosing the wrong sort of people to run Aeon in his absence. This proved fortunate when Mercer went into suspended animation in the mid-1950s after the death of his wife Annabelle Lee "Crackshot" Mercer, leaving their son Michael Maxwell Mercer to hold Aeon's reins. Mercer was revived in 1995 by Whitley Styles, Jake Danger & his own granddaughter Margaret Mercer in order to help Aeon prepare for a great calamity that their precognitive associates claimed would strike the Earth in the year 2000. Mercer and his allies suspected that it would be a typical N-Day of the sort Mercer witnessed in his early temporal travels. Mercer and his friends never suspected that they would be so, so wrong...

N-Day finally arrived on May 12th, 2000 as the result of an exotic and unprecedented celestial event impacting the Earth. Fortunately for the world, the ensuing wave of nova eruptions resulted in a population of non-Tainted (and Taint resistant) novas. The eruptions were gender-imbalanced, with only about 17% of the nova population being male - for every single male nova, there were five female novas. Unfortunately, the celestial event also triggered the mass death of approximately 94% of the global male baseline human population at the time. As of May 13th of 2000 C.E., there were 3,250,000,000 baseline females and only 191,176,471 baseline males worldwide. In layman's terms, on the average for every 17 baseline human females on the planet there was only one surviving baseline human male. Males who were Inspired before N-Day were unaffected by the gendercide. All novas in this Earth operate under the Very Low Taint rules (Aberrant Players Guide, p.68) and have the Taint Resistant Merit (Aberrant Players Guide, p.76) free of charge.

This incomplete gendercide event was uneven in both its effect on the victims and its global distribution. The former factor was indicated by the gendercide effect having a disproportionate effect due to age differences. The gendercide effect was especially deadly for males past middle age, of whom only a minority survived. In turn, the population of prepubescent and adolescent males were only lightly affected relative to their elders. The latter factor was indicated by what would later be termed the Zones; collections of geographical regions where the gendercide had a varying effect on the male population, as described below.

Zone Alpha: Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the entire Middle East. The gendercide effect killed approximately 98% of the baseline male population, leaving one surviving male for every fifty females.

Zone Beta: Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Indian subcontinent. The gendercide effect killed approximately 90% of the baseline male population, leaving one surviving male for every ten females.

Zone Gamma: Western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, East Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa. The gendercide effect killed approximately 80% of the baseline male population, leaving one surviving male for every five females.

Zone Delta: South American continent, Antarctica. The gendercide effect killed approximately 66% of the baseline male population, leaving one surviving male for every three females.

The last seven or so years after N-Day have seen massive social changes as the nations of the world struggle to restore themselves in a world where Earth's female population was now in de facto charge of the planet. The nations in Zones Beta, Gamma and Delta have had to become more-or-less gender egalitarian by necessity as women had to step in to take over traditionally male political and economic roles. Polygynous marriages have become socially acceptable, although the more developed nations also retain fully-stocked sperm banks for women wanting to bear children. Wives have also made a practice of "loaning" their husbands' services to select single female friends for purposes of procreation when they can't afford to visit a sperm bank. Human males are now considered to be valuable property in general, given their new importance in ensuring the survival of Humanity, and are legally prohibited from engaging in any dangerous occupations, sports or hobbies. That was a massive blow to the egos of the surviving male members of their nation's militaries, fire-fighting and law enforcement organizations, as they have been promoted and relegated to desk jobs and/or training fresh waves of female recruits. Making regular donations to their local sperm banks is also now mandatory for all capable males by law. Male children and teens are kept somewhat isolated from society at large due to the ever-present risk of kidnapping, and undergo mandatory martial arts and self-defense training to hopefully prevent such attempts from succeeding. Baseline males from these Zones have the Minority Flaw (Aberrant Players Guide, p.75). Nova males don't qualify for it, due to their power.

The Zone Alpha nations are the exception to all that, having established female-dominant cultures due to their extreme scarcity of surviving human males. A Zone Alpha man now lives in near-total seclusion as an enslaved house-husband, breeding stud and sexual toy for a small "harem" group of women from their nations' wealthy and powerful female elite. Likewise, all male children in the Zone Alpha nations are considered commodities from birth, to be used as bargaining chips in dealings with other "harems". This is expected to lead to arranged marriages and a continuation of the new "harem" system, but it's far too soon to tell if those expectations are realistic or not. The Zone Alpha nations have also become global troublemakers due their elites' desperation to assuage the desires of their commoner sisters and thus maintain their own status and power. Combined with having sperm banks with substandard equipment and quality control, this has resulted in attempts by Zone Alpha militaries and espionage organizations to acquire foreign human males and/or frozen sperm samples by any means necessary. Only skirmishes have resulted so far, but it's only a matter of time before one of these attempts triggers an international war... Baseline males from Zone Alpha are either enslaved as described above or have the Fugitive Flaw (Trinity Players Guide, p. 138) if they are living free or have escaped from captivity.

The economies of this Earth have become less international than they once were, as nations have had to concentrate on sustaining their agricultural bases and providing for the needs of their citizenries. Socialism with limited capitalism has become the default social operating method around the globe out of sheer economic necessity. The mass death of most of the older male population shattered the infamous "glass ceiling" of the corporate world, leaving female executives and CEOs in charge of preventing the total collapse of international business. As a result, businesses have been far more cooperative with government directives to comply with environmental and legal regulations both out of pragmatism and in order to keep themselves afloat. National ecomonies have contracted, but are slowly beginning to rebound.

Most of the old organized crime organizations died out in the gendercide, as they were predominantly comprised of male criminals. The exceptions to this are the Yakuza in Japan, the Triads of China and the drug cartels of South America. The Yakuza always had a sizeable female membership, leaving them to abandon prostitution and making pornography in order to take over their deceased male colleagues' smuggling and drug-dealing operations. They have also become unofficial allies of the Japanese government due to their nationalistic pride, and have helped thwart several Chinese attempts to kidnap Japanese males. The Triads have been outright co-opted by the Chinese government, who now view the Triads' opium production, smuggling and international kidnapping operations as essential to their nation's survival and eventual return to superpower status. The drug cartels of South America are continuing their business despite the loss in manpower (pun intended), as they now have the covert support of their governments. Faced with the loss of much of their legal international trade after N-Day, these nations turned to their new drug baronesses. In return for "going legit" and restricting all sales to non-South American markets, the drug cartels now operate with almost no local bloodshed or harassment from law enforcement.

Things are somewhat better for novas than baselines in this world, as could only be expected. Without the problems caused by Taint, the local novas are generally seen by the local baseline populace as heroes as living symbols of hope in face of the gendercide of 2000. The members of the Aeon Society were lucky enough to have several close relatives erupt as novas on N-Day. Already justifiably loyal to Aeon, these novas quickly contacted and established working relationships with the majority of novas worldwide. In the chaos caused by the gendercide, this gathering of novas managed to pull off a massive relocation effort of their members in Zone Alpha, Third World nations and those in bad circumstances (and their loved ones) to the city of Chicago. This was the birth of the Nova Alliance - an Aeon Society subsidiary - which in 2002 presented themselves and the Aeon Society openly to the United Nations with an offer of nova & Aeon support for the UN's peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. In return for international carte blanche to act as needed to ensure the survival and well-being of Humanity, Alliance novas can operate in Zones Beta and Gamma with impunity in regards to national boundaries and jurisdictions. Alliance novas have prevented the harm caused by decaying infrastructure, natural and human-made disasters of all sorts, the operations of criminal organizations and hostilities from the Zone Alpha and Zone Delta nations. They also aid in ecology restoration, agricultural redevelopment and all sorts of emergency construction efforts. Alliance novas have also helped the Zone Beta & Gamma nations to maintain and even advance their technological development. The Nova Alliance helps support itself by harvesting asteroids from the Aten, Apollo and Amor near-Earth asteroid groups. Support also comes from the Aeon Society and the Zone Beta & Gamma nations in return for their efforts. Male novas face little social stigma relative to their baseline cousins, although they are also highly valued as potential breeders of the next generation of novas. Aeon maintains a top-flight nova sperm bank, and male Alliance novas are given all sorts of encouragements to marry their female colleagues and start fathering nova children as soon as possible. Novas continue to erupt to this day - still without Taint - worldwide, with many seeking to join the Nova Alliance at first opportunity.

Of course all cannot be well, on this alternate Earth or any other. To begin with, the geopolitical situation on this Earth is unstable. The Zone Alpha nations will become increasingly desperate to acquire fresh new male human breeding stock. Not only are their female populations aging, their medical experts are fully aware of the need to avoid any possible inbreeding effects their "harem" system will cause over the next several generations. Depending on just how desperate they get, those nations may either turn on each other or on nations in other Zones, possibly to the point of starting a nuclear war.

The Zone Delta nations are seeking to buy time to breed their male population back to pre-N-Day levels and beyond, so that they can hopefully dominate both Central and North America through old-fashioned military force. This is a major reason why they have become so accomodating to their drug cartels - if foreign nations are busy combating the problems caused by South American drugs, the more time South America will have to pump out more little boys and girls to become future soldiers. Argentina and Chile have also allied to subvert the Antarctic Treaty System so they can begin prospecting for valuable mineral resources in order to try and match the asteroid mining operations of the Nova Alliance. They are also seeking to forge all the other South American nations into a united continental confederation that can stand up against the rest of the planet.

To make matters worse, not all of the novas who erupted on N-Day or afterwards joined the Nova Alliance. Aside from the usual gamut of amoral opportunists and sociopaths, these non-Alliance novas also include those who remain deeply loyal to their homelands and/or cultures. Many of these novas have been co-opted by their local governments in attempts to develop nova forces of their own in an attempt to match the Nova Alliance. Zone Alpha is infamous in the global intelligence community for their nova breeding camps, where Zone Alpha male novas spend their days having sex with hordes of fertile baseline female volunteers in an attempt to jumpstart a local nova population. Independent novas follow their own desires, sometimes to the detriment of all those unfortunate enough to be around them.

And against these threats stand the Zone Beta and Gamma nations, with the UN, Aeon Society and the Nova Alliance. Whether or not they are up to the task at hand while ensuring that Humanity survives the 21st Century is anyone's guess...
 

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I knew some people in college who would look at this kind of situation like it's a good thing, probably because they've never been thought of as commodities or property.  I find the thought of being kidnapped and hooked up to various life-support machines in a chemically-induced coma so that they can continually milk my prostate rather chilling...but then I've probably thought too far into this.

 

I suspect in such a world the idea of racism is likely to take a backseat as well, there simply are not enough males to go around for people to be picky anymore.  In fact, grabbing a male of an obviously different ethnic background is a visible indicator of new viable genetic material, something those Alpha Zone nations would latch on to immediately.

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I knew some people in college who would look at this kind of situation like it's a good thing, probably because they've never been thought of as commodities or property.  I find the thought of being kidnapped and hooked up to various life-support machines in a chemically-induced coma so that they can continually milk my prostate rather chilling...but then I've probably thought too far into this.

 

I suspect in such a world the idea of racism is likely to take a backseat as well, there simply are not enough males to go around for people to be picky anymore.  In fact, grabbing a male of an obviously different ethnic background is a visible indicator of new viable genetic material, something those Alpha Zone nations would latch on to immediately.

 

Re: Thinking too far-

No, you've thought almost as far into it as I have... which I achieved mostly by thinking "What could have happened to Yorick Brown in Y: The Last Man if the story hadn't been restricted by the limitations of the DC/Vertigo label?" And yes, what you've described *IS* a possibility for male detainees kidnapped by Alpha Zone agents. They are that desperate, believe me. BTW, I'll be stealing that horrific little gem to use in the final writeup if you don't mind. :D

 

Re: Racism-

100% agreed. Breeding outside one's own race/ethnicity would be a sure-fire way to avoid any chance of inbreeding, hence the Alpha Zone nation's manhunts (pun intended) in their neighboring nations.

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The chemically-induced coma is key, If they're conscious and ball-gagged it just turns into another kind of fetish porn.

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The chemically-induced coma is key, If they're conscious and ball-gagged it just turns into another kind of fetish porn.

Not to worry, that detail has been included verbatim.

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Re: Third finished product-

Just finished writing up the "Paradise Meridian" setting. I think it's finished, but I need you folks to tell me if it's really interesting enough to be worth a few sessions of an Aberrant player group's time. I think it has legs, but I could easily be wrong. If it's broken, constructive advice on how to fix it would be greatly appreciated. If it's so bad that it needs to be tossed out in favor of something else, I'll need to know that too.

 

Alternate Universe #3: Paradise Meridian
Point of Deviation: Circa 15,000 B.C.E.
Location: Universe/Timeline Grouping #3 (Variant Adventure! setting).
Current Date: Circa 10,931 B.C.E.
Synopsis: A prehistoric N-Day set off an ancient Nova Age on the mythical Lemurian continent, which developed an advanced and semi-enlightened civilization led by a ruling class of philosopher-novas. Unfortunately, the effects of Taint accumulation, baseline dependency on nova leadership, growing social decadence, the misuse of advanced technology and the Lemurian continent's geological instability all combine to send this doomed Paradise on Earth into terminal decline. This ancient civilization is finally destroyed when the Lemurian continent will implode and sink into the depths of the Pacific Ocean without any trace, leaving the survivors to spread their tragic tales and found new civilizations elsewhere.

This alternate universe deviated from the from the standard Aeon Continuum timelines before human recorded history - as defined by 21st Century historians - began. About 15,000 years before the Common Era, an exotic celestial event impacted the Earth and affected a small percentage of the primitive baseline human population. This resulted in a scattered nova population that would have no problems with Taint... at first. Quickly banding together for mutual survival, this large tribe of novas sought a new, fertile land where they could settle and develop their new civilization without interference from hostile baseline tribes. Alas, no such lands were to be found - all the lands with welcoming climates already had baeline inhabitants, while the one land free of baselines was frozen in an eternal winter. A radical plan was formed by the nova tribal leaders. Having noticed the enormity of the ancient Pacific Ocean and the excellent climate, the tribe's most powerful earth controllers reawakened a group of extinct undersea volcanoes. The massive eruptions formed a new landmass over the next year under the novas' guidance, creating an island continent roughly the size of Australia. Other novas turned most of the volcanic rock surface into fertile topsoil, created lakes and rivers, then imported the necessary lifeforms to create a functional ecology. And so it was that the nova tribe settled on what modern dissident historians would later describe as the Lemurian Continent.

The novas' intellectual and technological development grew in leaps and bounds over the next decades, resulting in a megalithic society far in advance of their contemporary Stone Age baseline cultures. Schools of philosophical thought grew like weeds and were refined by nova intellects to surprising heights, although they had nothing comparable to the modern post-Enlightenment social and philosphies. They also tapped into alternative power sources, some of which modern science has yet to discover. At the height of their civilization, the Lemurian nova civilization had achieved the equivalent of T7 with T8 transportation, nuclear power and weapons, agriculture and military technologies. With having so many hyper-intelligent novas, the Lemurians never developed any sort of computer technology beyond the abacus. Also, while their medical knowledge was decent they lacked anything but the crudest understanding of genetics. Their most powerful technology itself used principles of quantum gadgetry, making them unusable by baselines.

The novas' own biological development was also atypical. First, none of them had any capability of achieving a Quantum Trait higher than 5. Second, they never produced second generation novas. Instead they produced children who would erupt as first generation novas at the age of puberty. The tribal elders also established a tradition of having their precognitive and clairsentient "seers" keep a watch out for any new nova eruptions among the baseline tribes, so that they could be rescued from living among savages and recruited. They also adopted some of the friendlier - and more pliable - baseline tribes found in other lands, who thrived in Lemuria as the peasant caste of farmhands, servants and workers. The nova tribe was the undisputed ruling caste, and they did not abuse their privileges. Every nova was both a philosopher - or at least a student of one - along with whatever role they held in their society.

The Lemurian nova civilization was stable, absurdly prosperous and (relatively) enlightened for 4,000 years. The capital city was gradually transformed into an intricate maze of canals, lush gardens, public buildings of all sorts and private homes. Their farmlands were rich but did not cover the land, much of which was left to grown naturally. What clothing was needed - which typically wasn't much, given the tropical climate - were finely woven silks and cottons. Even the smallest buildings had air conditioning devices, which helped stave off any potentially lethal effects of the tropical heat. Roads were made of a highly sturdy off-white amorphic volcanic rock that acted as a capacitor for light. Summoned into place by nova earth manipulation powers and called "shining paths", this road network stretched across the entirety of the Lemurian continent. They dazzled in the tropical sunlight - which they absorbed - and gleamed brightly enough at night for travelers to see perfectly well without the need of any other light. A special kind of plant mutated by nova powers served to provide a level of public sanitation as yet unmatched by modern standards. Combined with advanced water filtration and methods of food storage, the health of the Lemurian peasantry was excellent.

The original nova tribe developed into a system of extended family-based clans, which were divided into two groupings. The first group - known as the "Traditionalists" - originally sought to maintain, refine and improve all aspects of Lemurian society. As a result, they ran what little bureaucracy was needed, enforced their legal system, educated the young, guided the primitive economy, archived all of their accumulated historical and cultural knowledge and were responsible for organizing any public defense. The latter was rarely needed, as few baseline tribes were skilled enough as sea travelers to even locate Lemuria, much less try and raid it. Instead they organized Lemurian novas with the appropriate quantum gifts when natural disasters threatened, which were snuffed out like sparks hitting cold water. The other clans - known as the "Explorers" - each claimed a region of the planet for their own, and worked to seed new cultures among the local baseline tribes. Their sea and air vessels visited all of the inhabited continents, bringing back riches of all kinds and willing immigrants to their homeland. They also handled the rescue and recruitment of new novas and established hidden redoubts of supplies and technology in the case of some unknown disaster striking the homeland. The bonds between clans were maintained through inter-clan marriages.

The social life of Lemurian novas was active. Hunting was well-thought of, and was one of several favored pasttime among the novas. Dancing, philosophical discussion, music , fine dining and creating monumental works of art were also favored. A crude form of theater existed - comparable to that of the early Greeks - which was used to perform both retellings of Lemuria's history and illustrate tales of the savagery of most of the baseline tribes encountered by the Explorer clans. Religion was a very strong cultural force, and took the form of ancestor worship of the nova tribe which created Lemuria. The peasants had their own folk religion centered on worship of the nova ruling class, but kept their devotions private so as not to risk offending any of their masters.

Lemuria took a turn for the worse circa 11,000 B.C.E., as multiple elements of Lemurian society began to fall into decadence. After 4,000 years of unparalleled success without any real challenges to be faced, the effects of entropy slowly took hold over the artificial paradise the nova tribe had built. Where once they regarded one another with trust, the nova clans of Lemuria now viewed each other with suspicion - which sometimes was well-founded - as tribalistic instincts quietly came back to the fore. Instead of working together for their common good of their culture, certain novas and their families now sought to gain political and social advantage over their fellow novas. This led to notions of "superior blood" among most Traditionalist clans, who eventually ceased the practice of inter-clan marriage in order to maintain their "purity". The resulting inbreeding led to a vulnerability to Taint accumulation and aberrations identical to that found in first-generation novas in the standard Aberrant setting. The incidence of having the genes for Taint accumulation was minor at first, but there were sufficient inter-clan marriages before the practice was ended for those genes to spread into all of the Lemurian nova clans. Those novas who manifested distressing physical aberrations were relegated to occupations with little or no contact outside of their clan. Those who manifested other aberrations - especially the mental ones - faced no such stigma, and often wound up holding high-ranking positions in both their clans and the greater Lemurian society.

Instead of seeking technological progress, some Lemurian scientists made a new religion out of maintaining their technologies with themselves as self-appointed priests. Using their clans' social connections, this techno-cult has made innovation into heresy and forced the other Lemurian scientists to "go underground" in order to continue their researches. Education has likewise degraded, as the more lauded teachers now give the lineage and social status of their students more account than any intellectual capability. Teachers who refuse to go along with this corruption of standards are typically relaged to seeing to the education of peasant children, who ironically now receive a better education than some of their nova masters. The legal system has likewise been rendered ineffective by the support for blood privilege among many Lemurian magistrates. Archives are ignored when the records they contain contradict the current wishes of those novas who currently hold power. The former public defense militias have become marauders out of boredom, going to other lands in order to terrorize the local baseline population for the sheer thrill of it.

Lemurian infrastructure, which had needed only minimal levels of maintenance, began to decay as personal wishes took precedence over public duty in too many novas' minds. Philosophy was twisted to rationalize and justify the base desires or more than a few novas. Many novas began to pass off utter nonsense as great philosophical statements to the baseline peasantry out of sheer mischief. Certain Explorer clans began to demand tribute from the baseline tribes of other lands. This was mostly done to "teach the savages their place" through humiliation. That said, they also sought attractive, healthy or just plain interesting baselines to bring back to Lemuria as human trade goods. Those unfortunate souls would then be gifted to the aforementioned Traditionalist clan degenerates in returns for all sorts of social favors and beneficial back-room deals. And so it was that slavery came to Lemuria; as those baselines became pleasure slaves, experimental subjects, pets, wild livestock for nova hunters to pursue and slay, and even the main courses of the cannibalistic banquets that a few of the more depraved of Lemuria's gourmets had come to crave. This among other things has led nearly all the baseline tribes that know of them to hate the Lemurians with a bloody - if impotent - passion. About the only virtue the decadent Lemurian novas shared with their ancestors was their fair and kind treatment of the Lemurian baseline peasantry.

Now, the Lemurian civilization has finally reached a tipping point. While there are a number of Lemurian novas who have avoided falling into decadence, they are a minority whose social influence has been fading for quite some time. Open warfare between the nova clans is no longer a possibility, but an inevitability. Some of Lemuria's arsenals of nuclear intercontinental missiles are under the control of insane military commanders. Vital functions of the Lemurian government are being mishandled by officials who attainted their positions through corruption and social connections instead of competence and personal integrity. The Lemurian infrastructure is only a few years away from collapsing into ruin due to widespread neglect. Several scientists are developing dangerously powerful new quantum gadgets in order to "protect" Lemuria, their clan or themselves from threats both real and imagined. The fact that some of those gadgets are powerful enough to lay waste to all of Lemuria is considered to be of no consequence by their creators.

The Lemurian peasantry remains largely blind to their rulers' failings, due to a blend of habitual dependence on the Lemurian novas, a deeply-held belief in those novas' divinity and their strong sense of tribalism. Why should they worry about whatever their living deities-in-the-flesh do to barbaric outlanders? Those savages are not part of the great tribe of Lemuria, and so simply do not matter. They are Lemuria's peasant caste, and are beloved and treated very well by their gods. Their gods have always protected them, have always made Lemuria safe from all sorts of disasters, and they expect that state of affairs to continue indefinitely. Willful ignorance and near-pathological denial has kept the peasantry faithful, productive and very pliable.

This ancient nova civilization now has all the inherent stability of a house of playing cards - and some Lemurians have begun to notice that fact. Several of the non-decadent Explorer clans are quietly preparing to evacuate Lemuria with their property, technology and peasantry to resettle in their overseas territories. All that this doomed paradise needs is just one little push to start its final downfall in earnest.

The Lemurian continent itself has become as unstable geologically as it's residing nova civilization is socially. As an artificially-created landmass that was not a product of the natural processes of continental drift and tectonic plate uplifting, there was no way it was going to last anywhere near as long as the natural continents have. Even worse, the novas who created said artificial landmass were not overly skilled in performing such feats. Five thousand years is an extraordinarily long period of time by human and even nova standards, but it's less than an eyeblink on the geological timescale. Very soon by human standards, the Lemurian continent will literally collapse in on itself, burying all traces of it's former existence under the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Provided that nothing sets off the collapse early, that is.

And to top off this inevitable prehistoric apocalypse is the fact that the nexus of this particular alternate Earth's timeline resides thirteen thousand years up into the future. In the plainest of terms: Lemuria and its nova civilization is doomed, and that fact cannot be changed. Interference from outside the timeline can alter the minor details of this tragedy, but the plot cannot be derailed. Unless they are truly powerful novas and are willing to break the entire Lemurian civilization like an untamed horse, the most that crosstime travelers can hope to accomplish is to salvage some Lemurian knowledge, technology and perhaps a few Lemurian novas before this land of myth-made-flesh finally sinks beneath the waves...

Future Fates [This is a gray sidebar subject]
Lemuria's nova civilization doesn't completely die out with the sinking of the Lemurian continent. Many Explorer clans did manage to escape their homeland's destruction to resettle in their overseas territories as they had planned. There, they founded new cultures around the globe and became inspirations for the local baseline mythologies. This plan didn't work out as the far-flung clans fell back into inter-tribalistic hostility, which resulted in open warfare and the resulting destruction of all but a few of the Lemurian colonies. The surviving novas lived reclusive lives, preferring to intervene in the local baseline cultures only from afar. They eventually died out due to inbreeding and widespread infertility caused by Taint accumulation. That said, those colonies did manage to spread a basic knowledge of agriculture among the baseline tribes they encountered, although it was accomplished though untaught imitation.
[Gray Sidebar Ends.]
 

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Well, I wasn't expecting much feedback what with the holiday season & all, but this site has gotten real quiet lately...

 

I'll check on this thread every so often for new feedback on the three alternate Earths I've written up, but as things are now I can only assume that they've all passed muster. Again, many thanks for the feedback you folks have already provided - it made what could have been dull, lifeless collections of alternate Earth tropes into viable mini-settings.

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Nothing overly constructive to add, I very much like everything you've done here. I especially like the Lemurian setting, it reminds me very much of the NewUniversal prequel detailing the prehistoric Star Brand and company. I'm looking forward to the finished book, a guide to playing high powered Novas is right up my alley.

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Nothing overly constructive to add, I very much like everything you've done here. I especially like the Lemurian setting, it reminds me very much of the NewUniversal prequel detailing the prehistoric Star Brand and company. I'm looking forward to the finished book, a guide to playing high powered Novas is right up my alley.

 

Re: Newuniversal-

So I'm not the only one willing to admit to having read that. :lol: If it was an inspiration, it was an unconscious one - most of what I used came from the various Atlantis theories and sussing out a halfway-logical sequence of events that would lead to the development of the island nation.

 

Re: High-powered novas-

Glad to hear the anticipation, hope you appreciate what you'll be getting. One hint: Roleplaying fish that big stuck in such a little pond like Nova Age Earth gets boring quick.

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This feels to me like a hybrid of Aberrant and A!, ancient mythic societies crumbling and all would attract lots of modern archaeologists.  You might even create a sidebar about how exposure to the quantum of the lemurians triggered the rise of ancient daredevils (heroes you find in greek myth).

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If it involved NewUniversal (or most anything Warren Ellis has been involved with) I'll gladly admit to reading it. :)

As an aside, kudos on the fantastic source books you've created. A Breed Apart rekindled interest in Aberrant after years of it collecting dust. I hope the developers of the new continuum put as much thought and effort into their work as you have.

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This feels to me like a hybrid of Aberrant and A!, ancient mythic societies crumbling and all would attract lots of modern archaeologists.  You might even create a sidebar about how exposure to the quantum of the lemurians triggered the rise of ancient daredevils (heroes you find in greek myth).

 

Nice idea, though I'd expand the effect to create ancient mesmerists (greek oracles, witches, sorcerers, etc.) as well. AFA the timing of that effect, it'd have to be after the Fall of Lemuria. Said quantum exposure - and I'm assuming that it would be long-term exposure we're talking here - would have to had originated with the scattered surviving Lemurian novas.

 

Much thanks for the suggestion for the gray sidebar, I will be using it!

 

Re: Kudos-

Eh, someone had to do it. Plot holes as blatant as we saw in the canon material were just begging to be filled in w/ something plausible.

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Re: The Second Paradise Meridian gray sidebar-

...is as follows. Thanks again to everyone who helped me out with their feedback & suggestions.

 

Seeds of Adventure! [This is a gray sidebar subject]
As indicated by its location, Paradise Meridian can be inserted within the prehistory of any Adventure! chronicle with little trouble. Doing so can provide the Storyteller with a literal treasure trove of plot hooks, ancient mysteries and dangerous artifacts to introduce to her players in the best pulp magazine tradition. Discovering and exploring any surviving Lemurian ruins can even become the main focus of a thrilling Adventure! chronicle that could have come straight out of the Indiana Jones film franchise.

For those Storytellers wishing to run an Adventure! chronicle in less modern times, the diaspora of the surviving Lemurian novas provides that opportunity. Now that they are no longer effectively self-quarantined on the former Lemurian continent, the quantum energies produced by those novas can cause some of the baselines they settle near to become Inspired. Most of those ancient Inspired will be daredevils, effectively becoming the equivalent of the heroes seen in mythology. Others will become mesmerists, and would be seen as oracles, witches and sorcerers. A very rare few will become stalwarts, and be seen as minor demigods. With the upcoming conflict between the Lemurian exile tribes acting as a backdrop, a skilled Storyteller can fashion a highly entertaining if offbeat chronicle.
[Gray Sidebar Ends.]
 

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As Nexus is going to be exploring playing Novas at the high end of the power spectrum, will we be seeing rules for extreme adverse conditions (i.e. Stars and Black Holes) and/or WMDs (Nuclear Weapons and other high end explosives mostly, biological weapons were covered very well in The New Flesh)?

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As Nexus is going to be exploring playing Novas at the high end of the power spectrum, will we be seeing rules for extreme adverse conditions (i.e. Stars and Black Holes) and/or WMDs (Nuclear Weapons and other high end explosives mostly, biological weapons were covered very well in The New Flesh)?

 

Re: Extreme adverse conditions-

Yes, they'll be listed under "Hazards of Space" in Chapter Two. Terrestrial/planetary "extreme adverse conditions" (along with a few stellar hazards such as extreme high gravity) have already been covered in Aberrant: The New Flesh.

 

Re: Non-biological WMDs-

I figured that nukes & the like had already been covered, but that info might've become a bit obscure by now. A gray sidebar in Appendix #4 (The Doyen) should be enough to handle that, seeing as WMDs are a must have for any alien Forerunner/Precursor species that's worth their salt.

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